As the use of the internet grows globally, expanding opportunities, threats to rights and safety can translate online. Sexual violence, exploitation, abuse, hate speech and bullying and other forms of online harm have severe, and often lasting consequences, especially for children. Our efforts to tackle this must match the scale and nature of the digital world.
The World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Coalition for Digital Safety has developed the Global Principles on Digital Safety to present guidance on how online harm can be addressed by various stakeholders. The principles aim to advance digital safety and better protect rights across the digital ecosystem by informing and enabling “regulatory, industry and societal” efforts.
The principles recognise child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA) and other threats to children’s safety, rights and privacy as a major concern, and make recommendations for collaborative action that include:
- Fostering joint, synergised efforts with diverse stakeholders to build a trusted and inclusive online environment
- Supporting innovative and evidence-based solutions to advance digital safety, prevent harm and inform policy and decision-making on digital safety.
- Advancing transparency about approaches and outcomes of efforts
- Helping vulnerable and marginalised groups to realise their rights in the digital world, including the importance of defending children’s safety and privacy online.
The principles also include particular guidance for governments, the tech industry, and civil society.
End Violence’s action to keep children #SafeOnline
End Violence’s Safe Online initiative has been leading efforts with all stakeholders to protect children from harm online. The initiative is working to make the Internet safer though global convening and advocacy (e.g. EU legislation to address CSEA), knowledge generation (through our partnership with the Tech Coalition and Disrupting Harm (DH) project) and investing in cutting-edge projects and solutions across over 80 countries. These efforts are fighting online CSEA in collaboration with governments, industry, researchers and children themselves.
Safe Online organised the Safe Digital Futures for Children: Data for Change event in December 2022 , in partnership with the European Parliament and WeProtect Global Alliance, to focus on data scarcity that hampers efforts to secure safe digital futures for children, mobilise stakeholders, and promote collaboration and sustained political support to ensure data is used effectively. Safe Online spoke to Cathy Li, Head of Media, World Economic Forum, at the event, to discuss how the Safe Online Initiative is supporting the vision of WEF’s Global Coalition for Digital Safety. Explore #SafeOnline.
The Global Principles on Digital Safety have been developed by the World Economic Forum's Global Coalition for Digital Safety Working Group, which includes representatives from Microsoft, End Violence Partner WeProtect Global Alliance, Meta, Amazon, Google, and OHCHR. Explore the guidelines in full.
Image: © UNICEF/UN0535901/Dejongh